After six weeks of limited classroom time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instructors at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Training Facility resumed normal schedules May 4, implementing guidelines for sanitation and social distancing.
“We have reduced class sizes by half,” said Drew Reeves, training manager, PCAPP. “All of the classrooms are now being sanitized after every class and everyone is required to self-monitor and wear a face covering when the 6-foot social distancing requirement cannot be met.”
During the shutdown, toxic area instruction stopped because the staff could not ensure proper social distancing. Trainers were able to teach some new employee classes via online platforms. Regular first aid and CPR courses that are required were conducted with reduced class sizes to ensure that each participant had their own mannequin.
Reeves said the schedule has been prioritized to accommodate Static Detonation Chamber staff, new employees and certifications required for the main plant.
“It will take us longer to get everyone through a training path, but our main priority is complying with procedures to maintain a safe learning environment,” Reeves said. With the reduction in class sizes, Training Facility staff are adding new classes when resources allow.
Finding a way to meet another training need, PCAPP and U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot personnel trained together recently in a toxic chemical training course. The Chemical Accident Incident Response and Assistance training, required by the Army, is normally a five-day session in Aberdeen, Maryland.
“There’s no shortage of great stories to highlight how our folks are stepping up,” said Ken Harrawood, project manager, Bechtel Pueblo Team.